Ghosts & Hauntings

‘Legally Haunted’ Mansion on Sale $1.9 Million

A 4628-square-foot house that just went on the market in Nyack, New York, has a lot to offer: five bedrooms, riverside views, and a history of being haunted. The so-called “ghost house” has such an infamous reputation that it was legally declared haunted in 1991. Now, People reports that you can own it for $1.9 million.

Built in 1890, the Queen Anne Victorian home on the Hudson River had a relatively unremarkable track record until the 1960s. That was when a woman named Helen Ackley moved there with her family and started spreading rumors of its otherworldly residents. She alleged that spirits from the Revolutionary War lived there, and they made their presence known by shaking beds and hovering in midair. Her accounts were reported in the local newspaper and Reader’s Digest.

The poltergeists apparently weren’t terrifying enough to make the home uninhabitable, and the Ackleys lived there for more than 20 years before listing it in 1989. But the house’s next would-be owners didn’t share their relaxed attitude. When the couple discovered the mansion was reportedly haunted after signing a contract, they backed out of the deal and sued. They argued that, like mold or vermin, a potential ghost infestation should be disclosed to potential property buyers.

The New York Supreme Court agreed: In 1991, it declared that because the Ackleys had widely publicized their beliefs about the house, they had created a stigma around it, and that information needed to be shared with the next home owners. The “Ghostbusters ruling” is still referred to today when determining what qualifies as a “legally haunted” house.

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Since that supernatural scandal, there hasn’t been a lot of negative press about the home at 1 LaVeta Place. Celebrities like singer Ingrid Michaelson and rapper Matisyahu have lived there for brief stints, and neither reported seeing ghosts. If you don’t mind the property’s spooky history (or perhaps consider it a perk), you can check out the listing on Trulia. And even if there is a ghost or two haunting the halls, the in-ground saltwater pool and views of the Hudson may make up for it.

Mental Floss
MICHELE DEBCZAK
Headline image credit: Image Credit: Google Street View

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